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Law Offices of Countryman & McDaniel

THE CARGO LETTER [431]

Air & Ocean Logistics - Customs Broker News

28 February 2007

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Good Wednesday morningfrom our Observation Deck......overlooking the officially designated "Cargo City" area and...... Runway 25-Right, at Los Angeles International Airport, voted "Best Cargo Airport in North America.". Here's what happened in our industry during February 2007!

We are often asked whether Countryman & McDaniel, conducts training seminars. Yes, from multiple Fortune 100 companies, to smaller forwarders, to the U.S. government, to insurance companies -- for years we have conducted inovative programs for domestic & Int'l claims, Customs, security, trade compliance & post 9/11 industry business practice. McD

To help you find what you need -- FAST -- there's now a transport search engine installed at our Cargo Law.com website!

Contribute your knowledge, stories & company information.......by e-mail to The Cargo Letter.  We strive to bring you useful information which is timely & topical.  Be sure to visit our website.

Our corporate sponsor &endash;- Interpool, Inc. -- named again to Forbes "Best 200 Small Companies" List -- for the 2nd consecutive year! -- http://www.interpool.com/

The Cargo Letter Archives of Past Issues

Michael S. McDaniel, Editor, Countryman & McDaniel, forwarder/broker/trade consultant attorneys at LAX.

INDEX to The Cargo Letter:

OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News***

1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs ______________                            

2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ______________                               

OUR "B" Section:  FF World Ocean News***

3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs ____________                         

OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News***

4. FF World Ocean Briefs _____________________                                            

5. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches _____        

**Back By Popular Demand**

OUR "D" Section:  FF in Cyberspace***

6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports of Call" _________             

OUR "E" Section:  The Forwarder/Broker World***

7. New Transport Related Legal Cases ___________            

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 Back To Main Page

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OUR "A" Section: Trade, Financial & Inland News***

  1. Freight Forwarder Trade Briefs _____________ 

***With Apology ....... as many of you have experienced recent difficulty in reaching our Cargo Law website, especially the LAX Webcam. Due to extremely high traffic -- with a monthly data stream in excess of 500 Gigabytes & 7.5 million hits -- we have just completed the process of transferring the entire operation to a much larger & more sophisticated set of Internet servers reserved for only the largest of Websites. We are now back to full operation. We have received hundreds of e-mails about the LAX Web Cam -- which is now again running smoothly. Indeed, our new "LAX Surf & Turf Cam" is weeks away! Thanks for your patience & support. McD

***MSC Napoli ....... our continuing news & photo coverage of the container vessel M/V MSC Napoli -- breaking up with her cargo of containers -- falling off into an Int'l Heritage Site of the UK. The theft of motorcycles by beachcombers. This is an event for us all.

***Cargo Theft Becomes More Vilolent -- Following EU Trend ...... as according to the National Assoc. of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) newsletter, violence in cargo theft is increasingly common in Europe and the trend will spread to the U.S. within 5 years, a leading firm of political analysts has warned. The report contrasts the U.S. to Western Europe, where "more aggressive & violent tactics reminiscent of criminal behavior in South America, Eastern Europe and Asia" are now seen. Europe responded to a growth in cargo theft in the late 1990s by hardening security. High value loads worth millions of dollars were no longer entrusted to unknown drivers, while background checks are now conducted and truck-mounted systems installed. But because opportunities for "easy" hits largely dried up thieves became more ready to resort to violence. In August this year, for example, a security escort in Britain was deliberately rammed in an in-transit theft incident. The U.S. is said to be 5 years behind Europe in terms of this trend. But, as cargo security tightens in that country too, criminals are likely to respond in the same manner. The report singles out the Hialeah gang in Miami, which is dedicated to full truckload thefts. Other Florida gangs have affiliates in New York & New Jersey. Local operators are prevalent in Chicago, where they also strike in rail yards. Gangs are also thought to operate in Georgia, Texas & Southern California. Typically, the method is simply to follow loads leaving distribution centers, expecting the driver to stop within four hours. Locked & secured tractors can be entered in 5 minutes and simply driven away, with the load switched to a clean vehicle in little more than half an hour. With police unlikely to devote many resources to non-violent offences, this is seen as low risk & high reward. However, the U.S. Dept. of Justice plans to add cargo theft to the Federal Bureau of Investigations uniform crime reporting system by the end of this year.

***U.S. Transport Index Dips ....... as the U.S. Transportation Dept.s' transportation services index fell 0.4% in 2006, its 1st annual decline since 2001, DOT said Feb. 13. The TSI is a combination of freight and passenger indexes. The freight level fell for a second straight year, dipping 2.3% following a 0.3% downturn in 2005. The 2006 falloff was the biggest drop since a 7% decline in 2000. The Dec. TSI rose 0.9% from Nov., following a one-month decline of 0.3%. Dec.'s 110.1 reading was 0.4% lower than a year earlier, though, the first year-to-year decline for the month of Dec. since 2001. Dec.'s freight index reading rose 0.8% from Nov., following two declines. The 108.4 freight reading was 3.9% off its peak of 112.8 in Jan. 2005. The Dec. freight reading was the lowest for a Dec. since 2003 and was 2.3% below a year earlier, the largest decline since 2000 and the 2nd largest decline in the last 10 years, DOT said. TSI is a seasonally adjusted monthly index measuring the output of services provided by the for-hire transportation industries, including railroad, air, truck, inland waterways, pipeline & local transit.

***Hombres Start Your Engines ...... as the news that Mexican trucks will be allowed to haul freight deeper into the U.S. drew an angry reaction Feb. 23 from labor leaders, safety advocates and members of Congress. They said Mexico has substandard trucks and low-paid drivers that will threaten national security, cost thousands of jobs and endanger motorists on the northern side of the Mexican border. The Bush administration on Feb. 22 announced its plan to have U.S. inspectors oversee Mexican trucking companies that carry cargo across the border. "This program will make trade with Mexico easier and keep our roads safe at the same time," Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said . She announced details of the plan to let 100 Mexican trucking companies travel beyond the border area while she was in El Paso, Texas, at the Bridge of the Americas, which connects to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Said Teamsters Union President Jim Hoffa: "They are playing a game of Russian roulette on America┤s highways." Access to all U.S. highways was promised by 2000 under the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, as was access through Mexico for U.S. carriers. That aspect of NAFTA was stalled by lawsuits & disagreements between the two countries, though Canadian and U.S. trucks travel freely across the northern border. The 1st Mexican trucks are expected to drive into the U.S. beyond the border area in about 60 days, the Transportation Dept. says.

***Wider Russian Trade Despite? ....... as the Russian government has stepped up efforts to pressure the U.S. to remove bilateral trade restrictions in place since the implementation of a Jackson-Vanik amendment in 1974, the Associated Press reported. The Jackson-Vanik amendment restricts trade to Russia over human rights concerns. The repeal is necessary to allow the U.S. to freely trade with Russia once it finalizes its membership in the World Trade Organization. The AP reported that Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, plans to seek the removal of Russia from the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment.

***C-TPAT Revalidates ...... as the agency that manages the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism will revalidate 1,200 companies in 2007, the 1st year that participants in the voluntary program will have their supply chain security practices verified for a 2nd time by on-site visits to foreign suppliers. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will start the on-site audits of a second separate supply chain with the 183 companies that were 1st validated in 2003 and the 287 firms that received checkups in 2004 because those security assessments were performed in the program's early years before CBP upgraded eligibility standards from suggested guidelines to minimum criteria, said Todd Owen, executive director of cargo & conveyance security. CBP plans to re-audit companies every 3 years. The final operational figures for 2006 showed 201 companies have been suspended or removed for security breaches since the program's inception, including 128 motor carriers. Another 453 companies were recently booted from the program for not complying with the Oct. 1 deadline for updating corporate security profiles on the new C-TPAT Web portal. More than 3,904 companies combined, or about 66% of the membership, have been validated during C-TPAT's first 4 years.

***China's Logistics Gap ...... as the Xinghua news agency said a report by the Chinese Academy of Sciences found Chinese & foreign-funded companies are having difficulty finding senior managers & workers in the logistic industry. The report noted that in 2001, only one university in China offered a specialized course in logistics but by 2005 the number had grown to 165. The report authors are suggesting more on-the-job training.

***Big Customs Security Increase ....... as President Bush's 2008 budget proposal for the Dept. of Homeland Security includes a 31% increase to US$10.2Bn for U.S. Customs & Border Protection, according to budget details released by the agency this month. Under the budget, CBP would receive an additional US$6M for 55 new officers to operate an expanding universe of radiation portal monitors at land & seaports. DHS has said it plans to screen 98% of ocean containers for radiation by the end of the fiscal year. The budget also provides US$10M for 50 investigators and 8 support positions to handle internal misconduct, administrative violations & criminal allegations. The US$15M DHS approved for the Secure Freight Initiative would go to hire nine CBP officers and & support staff, and to acquire & deploy equipment.

***UK Customs Disharmony? ....... as the head of Agency Sector Management (UK) Ltd., a not-for-profit freight industry representative body & software organization, has warned British shippers of major disruptions coming in the summer when U.K. customs switches to a new processing system. The European Union's harmonized Single Administrative Document (SADH) is due to come online July 1 as a precursor to allowing declaration data to be passed between member states' computer systems. Peter MacSwiney, chairman of ASM, warned that an en masse switch of the system could lead to a "complete collapse" of freight movements into and out of the United Kingdom as freight forwarders grapple with unfamiliar customs declarations and new software. As a result, transport operators across all modes would most likely refuse to carry shipments where information was incomplete for fear of incurring heavy fines, he said. Stand by.

***Customs Agreement #60 ....... as U.S. Customs & Border Protection has signed a customs mutual assistance agreement with Azerbaijan that establishes protocols for sharing information and cooperating on investigations on trade fraud, export controls, smuggling, money laundering and terrorism. The U.S. has signed 60 such agreements with countries around the world.

***Japanese Customs Joins Avanced Manifest Trend ....... as it has introduced its mandatory advance manifest rule that will require the submission of manifest information at least 24 hours before vessels arrive at Japanese ports. There will be no changes to the information required for manifest filing. Exceptions will include cargo from Mainland China or South Korea to ports in the Kyushu area or those bordering the Japan Sea. For these shipments, manifest information must be submitted no more than 12 hours before arrival.

***India Reaches Out ....... as its Investment in foreign markets will increase threefold in 2007, while foreign investment into India will also grow, but at a slower clip, according to a study by the Washington-based Institute of Int'l Finance. Indian companies have made big splashes in Europe & Asia in the steel, technology & logistics markets in recent years, but part of those multimillion-dollar deals include financing outside of India, the report said. Still, Indian investment abroad could reach US$3Bn this year, while investment into India is projected to grow from US$6.5Bn in 2006 to US$8Bn this year.

***All The Tea In China ....... as its exports hit a record US$547M last year, up 13% year on year, on a total volume of 287,000 tons, according to the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import & Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA). CFNA statistics showed green tea exports increased 6.1% to 219,000 tons worth US$390M, a rise of 18% from the previous year. China was the 2nd largest tea producer in 2005.

***Nuke The Squash! ..... as the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service said vapor heat treatment is not approved for the movement of Hawaiian grown bell peppers, eggplant, Italian squash & tomatoes to the U.S. mainland. The agency said the treatment is insufficient for killing the solanum fruit fly. However, the agency will allow the interstate movement of Hawaiian peppers & squash, if they're first irradiated. In 2004, Hawaii produced US$15.4M worth of eggplant, green peppers, Italian squash, Oriental squash, & tomatoes, amounting to about 52 million pounds. None of the eggplant, green peppers, Italian squash & tomatoes produced in Hawaii were shipped to the U.S. mainland in 2004.

***Boxcar Buy ....... as Fortress Investment Group LLC has completed the US$1.1Bn takeover of RailAmerica Inc., the short line and regional rail service provider with 42 railroads operating about 7,800 miles in the U.S. & Canada.

***New Calif. Railhad? ...... as Victorville, Calif. officials recently approved a memorandum of understanding with the BNSF Railway Co. to explore development of an intermodal logistics facility at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville. Plans call for 20 million square feet of manufacturing & distribution uses within the proposed rail facility. More photos

***Real "Lucky" Rail Owners ...... a the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Co., led by Port Sonoma owner H. Skip Berg and former Calif. Congressman Doug Bosco, said it is ready to launch freight service from Windsor, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, to Napa County. The group hopes to start service in spring 2008. Freight service on the stretch halted in 2001, but NPRC is ready to revive the service. The rail firm is awaiting negotiations between the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit and the North Coast Rail Authority over needed repairs & maintenance of the tracks. Federal legislation, which Bosco helped steer through Congress during the 1980s, requires that access be maintained on the tracks for freight service.

***U.S. FTL Carriers Down ..... as profits fell at major public truckload carriers in the 4th quarter, as declining demand for freight carriage more than eliminated the benefit of declining diesel prices, which are now lower than a year earlier. The carriers consistently reported the traditional 4th-quarter shipping surge was nowhere to be found in 2006 and that the spot-market price for last-minute hauling has fallen. Six of the first 10 truckload carriers to report annual results either maintained or increased net income when compared with 2005. Two more had modest decreases in annual profits of 2.2%.

***Northern Border Ports Closer To All "E" ...... as truck drivers will be required to file an electronic rather than paper-based manifest at all land border ports of entry in Michigan & New York, effective May 24, according to U.S. Customs & Border Protection. This is the 3rd group of ports to be phased in under the agency mandate to automate the manifest process. Truckers can file through electronic data interchange channels or a secure Web portal prior to arrival at the border. Last month ports in Washington, Arizona & some in North Dakota switched from a voluntary to mandatory filing system. In April, ports in New Mexico, Texas & California will come on line for mandatory e-manifest. CBP has not yet set a date for the next phase of mandatory e-manifest, which would cover the remaining ports in North Dakota & Vermont.

***Driving To China ..... as U.S. trucking giant Schneider Int'l has received formal permission from the Chinese government to move ahead with its plans to set up as a domestic trucking & logistics firm in China, the China Economic Review reported. The company's China office will be in Tianjin, from which it will attempt to develop warehousing, carrier and logistics services for the Chinese market. 

***Trucks Protest Limits ..... as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. said that an announcement on Jan. 26 that the U.S. Dept. of Transportation will consider requiring speed limiters on all large trucks is "just one more example of how big business controls the national agenda to the detriment of many. The mere fact that two federal agencies are even considering petitions requesting mandatory speed limiters on trucks is a clear indication that federal agencies are all too willing to appease big business," OOIDA said in a statement. Petitions requesting the government to require speed limiters be set at 68 mph and not tampered with are being considered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. NHTSA and FMCSA are requesting comments on petitions for rulemaking from the American Trucking Assn., Road Safe America and a group of 9 motor carriers.

***Satamatics Reefer Remote ........ as the provider of asset tracking & monitoring services, has launched a product aimed at the refrigerated cargo market. The new Reefermatics service uses satellites & satellite modems for tracking and will initially be targeted at the U.S. trucking, rail and container industry -- to provide essential information on a refrigerated trailer's status, location, temperature set point, fuel levels, battery & history. Operating over the Inmarsat D+ satellite network, the new solution is also able to remotely start & control refrigerated systems.

***Heavy Baking ...... as Chilean police arrested an Argentine woman allegedly trying to smuggle cocaine to Spain hidden in chocolate-coated alfajores -- cookies popular in the southern nations of South America. Alicia Arce, 29, detained at Santiago airport on Feb. 19 after police found 17.6 pounds (8 kg) of cocaine hidden in the foil-wrapped cookies. Officials believe she was planning to fly to the Spanish city of Seville & that the drugs may have come from the renowned baking center -- Bolivia.

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  2. The Cargo Letter Financial Page ______ 

**Deutsche Post World Net (owners of DHL) DOWN group net income of US$2.5Bn in 2006, down 14.3% compared to the previous year.

**Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. DOWN as 4th-quarter profits fell to US$62.6M or 28 cents a share, down from US$74.3M or 34 cents a year ago.

**Hanjin Shipping. DOWN as net income in 2006 dropped 4.6% to US$491.5M, which it attributed to income tax expenses from the sale of foreign terminal assets.

**J.B. Hunt Transport Services. UP with US$57.8M or 39 cents a share in 4th quarter, a decline from US$65.3M or 41 cents a year ago.

**Kansas City Southern. UP as 4th quarter profit surged, led by price increases & volume growth, especially for coal for net income US$35.7M, compared with US$2.3M during same period year ago.

**OMI Corp.(U.S. tanker operator ) UP with 4th quarter net income of US$61.5M, up 45.4%.

**Pacer Int'l Inc. UP with 4th quarter net income of US$21.5M, up 5.4% over US$20.4M in the same period 2005.

**C.H. Robinson. UP with a 23.5% rise in 4th quarter net income to US$71.8M, compared to US$58.M in same quarter 2005.

**Singapore Airlines' cargo unit. DOWN with operating profit of US$33.8M in its 3rd fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31, down 46.3% compared to year-earlier quarter.

**Target Logistics. DOWN as 2nd-quarter profit fell to US$590,000 or 3 cents a share, from US$976,000 or 5 cents in previous 2nd quarter.

**Tropical Shipping. UP as 4th quarter operating income from shipping more than doubled to US$18M from US$8.6M in year-earlier period. 

**UPS. UP with 4th quarter earnings of US$1.3Bn, a 7.5% increase over the same period the prior year. Revenue was US$12.6Bn, up 5.6%.  

**Wilh. Wilhelmsen (vehicle carriers Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, American Roll-on/Roll-off, Eukor & Unitor) UP with 4th quarter net operating profit of US$165M, up 146% from US$67M posted in same quarter 2005.   

***Rail Rebuy ...... as the board of Jacksonville, Fla.-based CSX Corp. has authorized the repurchase of up to US$2Bn of the company's outstanding common shares, representing about 11 percent of its total market capitalization. CSX provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services across a transportation network that spans about 21,000 miles with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia, and connects to more than 70 ocean, river & lake ports.

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OUR "B" Section: FF World Air News***

3. Freight Forwarder World Air Briefs ____

***U.S. Forwarder Group Objects To 100% Screening ....... as group of senators, led by Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, introduced legislation late Feb. 6 that would require screening of all cargo on passenger planes within 3 years. The bill also seeks to improve passenger-screening processes. However, in a letter to Inouye, the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Assn. of America President Mary Jo Muoio criticized attempts to implement 100% X-ray imaging of cargo on passenger planes. H.R. 1, passed by the House, also includes a requirement for imaging all cargo on commercial airlines. Muoio advocated a risk-based approach to screening air cargo, with elements that closely resemble the Customs-Trade Partnership Program (C-TPAT) managed by U.S. Customs & Border Protection for maritime shipments. "We ask the committee to dismiss those proposals which create arbitrary timelines and demand unavailable resources without any reasonable assurance of success. The 100% screening solution is an oxymoron -- it is the wrong way to secure the homeland & creates a false sense of confidence in our ability to succeed," Muoio wrote. 

***Global Air Freight Volume Slows ...... as it increased 4.6% in 2006, below the historical growth trend of 5.6%, according to statistics provided by the Geneva-based Int'l Air Transport Assn. The Middle East was the fastest growing region for both passenger & cargo, with cargo recording growth of 16.1%. IATA said that growth in Europe (up 1.7%) and Asia (up 4.7%) was restricted by high fuel costs & strong competition from other transport modes. North America was the most improved market as freight growth increased from 0.4% in 2006 to 6% last year "as airlines switched capacity towards cargo." IATA said the industry showed an estimated operating profit of US$10.2Bn for 2006 while net losses were reduced to a projected US$500M. "Industry-wide we expect revenue growth to slow from 8% in 2006 to 4.5% in 2007," said IATA.

***UPS Still On The 380 Bus ..... as it has agreed with Airbus to delay the delivery dates for its 10 A380 freighter aircraft on order, valued at about US$2.8Bn. The aircraft were scheduled to be delivered to UPS from 2009 through 2012, but both parties have agreed not to disclose the new delivery dates. The new agreement allows UPS to cancel its order if there are any more delays. The delays to the A380 led to FedEx in Nov. canceling its order for 10 of the aircraft, replacing it with an order for 15 Boeing 777 freighters with options for 15 more. The delays are set to cost Airbus US$6.1Bn over the next 4 years. UPS plans to use the A380s on long-haul routes currently served by MD-11 and 747 freighters. Earlier this month UPS ordered 27 Boeing 767-300 Extended Range freighters for delivery from 2009 through 2012, which the Atlanta-based company said was unrelated to its review of the A380F order. Boeing already has 32 767s in its fleet, which it is expanding to keep with worldwide growth in trade.

***American Airlines Suitor? ......... as a Business Week article suggested that a group including Goldman Sachs & British Airways could be planning a takeover bid of from US$46 to US$52 per share, which would value the Texas-based airline at about US$11.1Bn. The speculation follows quickly after Delta Air Lines knocked back a hostile takeover by US Airways late last year.  

***United Airlines Refinanced ...... as it has paid off US$972M of its original US$3Bn bankruptcy exit facility in cash, and refinanced the remaining US$2Bn, which the airline said will result in a net pre-tax savings of about US$70M per annum. The new facility was arranged by J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. & Citigroup Global Markets as joint lead arrangers and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC as syndication agent, and comprises a US$1.8Bn term loan and a US$255M revolving credit line.

***FedEx Express Buys India ..... as it has completed the US$30M acquisition of its Indian service provider, Prakash Air Freight Pvt. Ltd. PAFEX is one of the largest domestic express companies operating in India, with more than 384 offices & depots serving nearly 4,400 destinations.

***Return of The Giant ....... as Russia's Volga-Dnepr Group has established a joint venture company with Ukraine-based Motor Sich to manage the production revival of the AN-124, the world's largest commercial cargo aircraft. The AN-124, which was originally built for the Soviet military, is mainly used to ferry oversize cargo that doesn't fit on other types of cargo planes. Nearly 60 of the aircraft were built before production ceased with collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The new version of the aircraft, the AN-124-100M-150, will have an increased payload capacity of 150 tons. It will also attempt to improve the operating life of the aircraft to 60,000 hours and, later, 80,000 flight hours. 

***Delta Air Lines Lagos Nonstop ....... as it will start daily nonstop flights between its hub Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int'l Airport & Lagos in Nigeria, pending Nigerian approval. The Atlanta/Lagos service is scheduled to start Dec. 3 using 2 dedicated Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. This would become the 1st scheduled nonstop service offered by a major airline between the U.S. & Nigeria.   

***Sea Meets Sky ....... as Japan's NYK Line has signed a tentative partnership agreement to investment in Jett8 Airlines Cargo, while one of its subsidiaries, Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA), has also agreed to assist the startup Singapore-based carrier. NCA has agreed to sell Jett8 a Boeing 747-200 freighter as well as providing block space and general sales agency duties in countries that the new carrier will serve. Jett8 is planning additional routes to China, India, Russia and areas throughout the Pacific region in the near future.

***Low Cost RFID For JPN ULD ..... as Japan Airlines & Nihon Unisys Ltd. said Feb. 20 that the firms have developed a low-cost system that uses radio frequency identification tags to facilitate loading & weight information storage of airborne cargo. A device reads information from RFID tags attached to each cargo container, while the container's weight is measured by a forklift. The data from the RFID tags and the weight information are then stored on JAL's computer server and are used to decide how the cargo should be loaded onto airplanes. The RFID tags used in the new system cost just under US$7.00 apiece because they do not require batteries, far cheaper than the US$67.00 price for a conventional tag with an embedded battery. The new system allows data to be stored on JAL's server in Tokyo. 

***Electronic Contnental ....... as information technology giant Unisys has said Continental Airlines Cargo is now live on the Unisys-operated Cargo Portal Services (CPS), an electronic booking & shipment management service for the air cargo industry. Participation in CPS will reportedly give air cargo clients a convenient, Web-based facility to manage bookings & track shipments through a neutral portal. According to the companies, the integration of Continental Airlines' cargo system and CPS went smoothly & freight forwarders will be able to utilize Continental's route network when booking shipments.  

***Volume >>> Beijing-based Air China total air cargo deliveries increased 12.5% in Jan., up 72,658 tons over Jan. 2006. >>> Continental Airlines carried 80.05 million cargo revenue ton-miles in Jan. 2007, a 0.3% drop compared to 80.32 million cargo revenue ton-miles in Jan. 2006. >>> Fort Worth Alliance Airport handled 250,479 metric tons of cargo in 2006, more air cargo than in any other year since the facility opened in 1989, due in large part to a new FedEx service to Asia. >>> Dallas Fort Worth Int'l Airport handled a best-ever 281,486 metric tons of international cargo in 2006, up 12.9% over the previous year, buoyed by increased Asian cargo.

***Thirteen Dots Looked Just Right ..... as Brussels Airlines is busy changing the 13-ball logo forming a letter "b" on the tail & sides of one of its Airbus jets -- now adding a 14th dot in response to complaints from superstitious customers in the U.S. & Italy. The airline, the successor to the merged SN Brussels and Virgin Express, won't start flying until March 25 and the company had only painted one of its planes with the new logo, which had prompted a flood of disapproving e-mails & calls when it had been unveiled. "They said they were not pleased with an aircraft with a logo with 13 balls because they think it brings them bad luck," said a Brussels Airlines spokesman. Superstition remains firmly ensconced in modern society and affects behavior in all walks of life.

***FedEx Flying High ........ as workers at the downtown Philadelphia boutique "Fusion" called police after unexpectedly receiving 2 packages of marijuana totaling 20 pounds & worth US$90,000. "Officers received a call that the manager of the store had received a package from FedEx and when he opened it there was a 5-gallon bucket inside," said Capt. Chris Werner. Inside that bucket was 10 pounds of marijuana. The 2nd package arrived about an hour later, this one from a different delivery service but with similar contents. Both packages were from California & addressed to the store, but there were no names on the address labels. "It was obviously intended for someone in the Philadelphia area," Werner said. "We are trying to find out who." >> Adjoining store owner Leonard Fusion had no comment.

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OUR "C" Section:  FF World Ocean News***

  4. FF World Ocean Briefs _____________ 

***Mr. Marty Johnson Is Finally Recognized & Sails On ....... as Mitsui OSK Line took no notice of our effort to recognize the ultimate sacrifice of Marine Architect Marty Johnson, despite his efforts to save its vessel M/V Cougar Ace at the expense of his own life -- during the epic struggle to save the vessel this past summer in the North Pacific. The better American solution was to christen the new Marty J, the 1st of 3 Heavy Lift 455 Series barges, which have been under construction at Gunderson Marine in Portland, Oregon. Oakland-based Crowley Maritime Corp., founded in 1892, is primarily a family & employee-owned company that provides diversified transportation and ogistics services in domestic & Int'l markets by means of 4 operating lines of business: : Liner Services; Logistics Services; Petroleum Services & Marine Services. Thanks to Crowley, the ocean vessel Marty J is proudly sailing the Gulf of Mexico - and Mr. Fontain Martin "Marty" Johnson III will now be remembered. By the way, all 4,703 Mazda vehicles aboard M/V Cougar Ace as cargo were destroyed. If you are unfamiliar with this epic story -- we urge you to visit:

***Tighter Volume & Direct Carrier Competition For Forwarders ...... as by 2009 demand for container slots on the main transpacific water routes will outstrip supply, said APL V.P Eric Mensing on Feb. 16 in a speech to the Transportation Table lunch in Washington sponsored by Traffic World magazine. Singapore-based APL is forecasting 10% growth on the head-haul routes from Asia to the West Coast this year & beyond, Mensing said. Even now there is less than a 2% gap in supply & demand, despite the fact that many mega-ships in the 8,000-to-10,000-TEU range are coming on line. Mensing also said that carriers will begin to reenter the consolidation market ceded to NVOCCs & forwarders by partnering with reliable inland motor carriers. The tide may turn agsin.

***But The big 3 Japanese Shipping Groups Slide On Income ...... NYK, "K" Line & MOL, all reported lower profits for the 9 month period ended Dec. 31, due to poorer results in their container shipping units. NYK, the largest of the 3 carriers, saw its net income down 36% to US$401M. NYK's revenue improved 12.5% to US$13.2Bn. MOL's net income for the period declined 2.7% to US$722M while operating income dipped 12.5% to US$992M. "K" Line posted net income for the 9 month period of US$293M, down 35.9% compared with the prior year period. "K" Line's operating income slumped 42.6% US$328M. NYK said. "While freight-rates recovered in the Asia/Europe & Asia/Australia routes, the increases were not enough to offset the impact of the rate declines from the end of 2005 through the beginning of 2006."

***New Baja Mega Port Stalled, Not Sunk ...... as a Baja California legislative panel publicly rejected plans for the development of a megaport 150 miles S. of San Diego, Calif. at Punta Colonet last week, saying government officials have failed to live up to promises to provide details of the massive project. The Punta Colonet port development is under the authority of the Mexican federal government, yet officials in Mexico City asked the Baja, Calif. legislature to give approval to the megaport project. The state government is responsible for creating a master plan for the envisioned port community that is expected to have as many as 250,000 residents. The main opposition to the plan came from a business group that owns mineral rights in the ocean bed off of Punta Colonet. The group has been negotiating with federal officials to gain a portion of the port project, which is to be bid out to private enterprises that would develop and operate the port, and a rail line to send container cargo from Asia to the American heartland. Differing versions of the port plan have ranged in cost from as much a US$1Bn to US$9Bn, and varied in scale from smaller than the Port of San Diego to as large as the Port of Los Angeles & Port of Long Beach combined. A Mexican rival to the dominant U.S. West Coast Southern California ports has raised concerns in the American shipping industry about a major shift of cargo south of the U.S./Mexican border. The doctrine of unintended consequences may emerge.

***Jumping On The Baja Train ....... as Union Pacific says the railroad is among a group of companies considering opportunities with the development of a super port in Baja California. If Union Pacific wins the bid, it would need to build 200 miles of rail in Mexico as well as 16 to 30 miles of new track in the Yuma area. Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corp., with a rail network linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the U.S.

***Ditch Pumps Up ...... as carriers in the Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement will raise their Panama Canal transit eastbound & westbound fees to US$212 per container from US$192, not subject to currency adjustment factors, effective May 1. The conference said the increase was necessary to cover the higher toll fees the Panama Canal Authority is about to charge to help fund its US$5.25Bn expansion project. TACA member lines are Atlantic Container Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., Maersk Line, NYK & OOCL. www.pancanal.com

***Panama Joins Nuke Hunt ...... as it has agreed to help the U.S. combat the smuggling of nuclear & radioactive material by joining the Container Security Initiative and the Megaports Initiative, U.S. Customs & Border Protection said. Large-scale X-ray machines & radiation detection arrays will be set up at the ports of Colon, Manzanillo & Balboa to conduct non-intrusive inspections of targeted containers. There are 50 CSI partner ports around the world representing about 82% of all ocean cargo shipped to the U.S.

***U.S. Flag Cargo Assist ....... as the Maritime Administration & the Export-Import Bank have developed a program to provide additional incentives for shippers to move their export cargo on U.S.-flag vessels. Under this program, Ex-Im Bank provides guaranteed working capital loans for transportation-related cost associated with the export move that is carried on a U.S.-flag vessel. According to MarAd, these transportation costs could include ocean freight, marine insurance, export packing, trucking, railroad or other costs involved in the movement export cargoes.

***Zero Tolerance In The Big Orange ...... as U.S. Customs & Border Protection has informed terminal operators & truckers serving the ports of Los Angeles & Long Beach that the agency will not tolerate containers exiting the port without a proper radiation detection reading. The "zero-tolerance" policy recently went into effect after the agency in Dec. completed installation of radiation portal monitors (RPM) throughout the twin complex to screen 100% of containers that exit by truck or on-dock rail. The agency invested US$25M for 85 fixed & 24 mobile RPMs. The Dept. of Homeland Security's stated goal is to install 621 drive-through monitors at the nation's ports and screen 98% of all sea containers entering the U.S. by the end of Sept. 2007.

***Earlier Open & Profit By Inches ..... as the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season will start at its earliest date when the Welland Canal opens March 20. The Montreal-Lake Ontario section will open at the same time a day later while the U.S. Sault Ste. Marie locks and canals will open March 25. The Seaway closed its 48th navigation season on Dec. 30, after a record 283 days, with total cargo traffic up 9 percent to 47.1 million tons, its best result since 1998. The maximum vessel draft for the Welland Canal in the 2007 season will be 26.5 feet. The draft for the Montreal-Lake Ontario section will be 26.25 feet until the South Shore Canal is ice-free or April 15, whichever occurs first, at which time, if water levels are favorable, the draft will be increased to 26.5 feet. The Lake Carriers' Assn. estimates that when a Great Lakes vessel shaves an inch off its draft potential it loses more than 8,000 tons of cargo per trip -- and 8,000 tons of iron ore not carried could have produced steel for 6,000 automobiles.

***Talking Trash ..... as in response to an article in the China Daily, Maersk Line has denied that the company has ever shipped garbage to China, or any other illegal cargo. "Maersk Line will never willfully engage in the transport of cargoes banned in China, such as garbage," Maersk's Chinese representative office said in a statement. "To the best of our knowledge, based on the information provided by the shippers and consignees, we have not facilitated the import of cargo that is not allowed by international or Chinese import regulations." The Danish carrier added that its gigantic "PS"-class ship M/V Emma Maersk was "regretfully" singled out in the story, and in fact has only carried about 7,500 tons of recyclable materials to Chinese ports from October to mid-January, and not 200,000 tons as stated in the article. "Maersk Line does -- as most other shipping lines -- carry waste paper, scrap metal, and other recyclable materials for Chinese importers. Should authorities suspect any wrongdoing, we are committed to cooperate fully with investigations," Maersk said.

***Space Explosion At Sea ...... as the Sea Launch Co.'s "Odyssey" launch platform sailed into her home Port of Long Beach Feb. 16, battered, but moving under her own power. The launch platform survived a massive explosion when a 20-story-tall Zenit-3SL rocket detonated on the platform during an equatorial launch attempt on Jan. 30. Sea Launch sends the "Odyssey," a modified North Sea oil-drilling rig mounted on 2 Russian submarine hulls, and an accompanying mission control ship to the equator to launch satellites into orbit. Sea Launch said a flame deflector below the launch pad was lost and doors to the platform's hangar were off their supports, but the vessel's main structures were in good condition and its marine systems operational, allowing it to return home under its own power. Sea Launch is owned by Boeing Co., RSC-Energia of Moscow, Kvaerner ASA of Oslo, Norway, and SDO Yuzhnoye/PO Yuzhmash of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. Your editor saw Sea Launch last weekend -- she does needs restorative some work.

***Mr. C. Bradley Mulholland ....... as the former Matson Navigation Co. president & CEO, died Feb. 20 after a long illness. Mulholland was head of Matson from 1990 to 2002, before moving upstairs to the position of vice chairman & retiring in 2003 after 38 years at the U.S. Jones Act company. 

http://www.matson.com/corporate/about_us/history.html

***New U.S. Player ...... as Antwerp, Belgium-based intermediary FCL Carrier is moving into the U.S. market with a series of weekly breakbulk, containerized, project cargo, roll-on/roll-off & specialized equipment services to Central Asia, Mongolia, North Korea, Russia Far East, China & India. Established in 1998, FCL Carrier offers weekly container services from European markets to Alaska, the Russian Far East, Hawaii, North Korea and Saipan/Guam & other South Pacific locations.

***Vietnam Shipping Lines (Vinalines) Breaks Out ......... as it has started its 1st ever container service between Vietnam & Hong Kong as part of a wider strategy to increase its Int'l business. The state-run company hopes to become one of the leading marine groups in Southeast Asia by 2010 with revenue targets of more than US$1.2Bn and US$3.1Bn by 2020. Last year, Vinalines recorded cargo volume of 23 million tons, bringing annual revenue US$688M.

***Big Bang Aftermath ...... as Dubai Ports World's proposed sale of its stevedoring businesses in the U.S. to insurance giant AIG Global Investment Group has hit a snag. The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has withheld consent to the deal partly because it wants compensation for US$30M in improvements to the DP Ports terminal in Newark. DP World agreed in Dec. to sell its North American assets, which include management of terminals in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami, New Orleans and New York City, as well as operations in 16 other ports. Security concerns sparked intense opposition to ownership of port businesses by the Dubai-based company last year.

***Japanese Safety & Weather Center ....... as ocean carrier Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, hit in the last few years by a string of serious & high-profile maritime accidents, has opened a Safety Operation Supporting Center (SOSC) in Tokyo. The center provides timely warnings & interactive communication to MOL vessels and other concerned parties to promote safe operation with around-the-clock weather monitoring.

***Port of Baltimore Gets A Charge ....... as it has received about 200 Chinese-manufactured electric cars capable of maximum speeds of 25 miles per hour. Scandinavia's Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics delivered and processed the Tianjin Qingyuan Electric Vehicle Co.'s five-door hatchback vehicles, called the Miles ZX40 and the Miles ZX40S, at Baltimore's Dundalk Marine Terminal. The cars retail at US$15,000 to US$17,000 plus delivery and prep charges, and will be distributed by Miles Automotive of Malibu, CA to dealerships & direct customers throughout the East and Midwest regions. The "car" uses golf cart tires. 

***Throughput >>> Port of Busan handled 1.04 million TEUs in Jan., a 6.8% increase over the 971,923 TEUs handled in the first month of 2006. It was also the 1st time the South Korean port exceeded the 1 million TEU mark in the month. >>> Danish/Swedish port complex Copenhagen Malm÷ Port (CMP) handled 16.6 million tons of cargo in 2006, up 10% over the previous year. >>> French Port of Dunkirk handled 5.06 million metric tons of cargo in Jan., a 3% improvement compared to the 1st month of 2006. >>> Port of Long Beach container throughput rose 2.1% in Jan. to 591,469 TEUs, compared to 579,455 TEUs in the same month last year. >>> Italy's Port of Naples posted a 19.1% rise in container throughput in 2006 to 441,982 TEUs. >>> Port of Prince Rupert experienced its best year since 2000, handling 7.7 million metric tons of commodities in 2006 compared to 4.4 million metric tons in 2005, despite the fact that the port closed its Fairview breakbulk terminal in order to convert it to a container port that will open this fall. >>> Georgia Ports Authority moved a record 2.16 million" TEUs in calendar year 2006, establishing the Port of Savannah as the 2nd-largest container port on the U.S. East Coast. European intermodal company Intercontainer-Interfrigo (ICF) ended 2006 with a traffic volume increase of 4% to 430,000 TEUs.

***Great Lady Will Continue Service ...... as she has been a troop carrier, a missile-tracking ship, and a starred in a Hollywood movie. Now the M/V General Hoyt S. Vandenberg will become an artificial reef off Key West, Fla. Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton approved the transfer of M/V Vandenberg to the state of Florida, which plans to turn the 63-year old vessel into an artificial reef later this year. The Vandenberg was constructed in 1943, as the troop ship USS General Harry S. Taylor. In 1963, it was refitted as a missile-tracking ship and given its unusual superstructure and present name. In 2000, the ship was featured in the Hollywood film Virus, and still carries the Russian lettering & ornate paint scheme given to it for that role.  

***Mesonychoteuthis Stops By ..... as New Zealand fishermen may have caught the largest Colossal squid ever found -- weighing around 450kg (992lbs.) and with rings the size of tires. The adult Colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni) was caught by fishermen long lining for toothfish Feb. 20 in deep ocean off Antarctica. The squid was still alive when caught and was eating a hooked toothfish when hauled aboard. It is likely that it is the first intact adult male Colossal squid to ever be successfully landed. Local media said early estimates put the squid at 10mt. (30ft.) in length and weighing 450kg (992lbs.) -- 150kg (330lbs.) heavier than the next biggest specimen found. Colossal squid were found in Antarctic waters and were not related to Giant squid (Architeuthis) found around the coast of New Zealand. Giant squid also grow up to 12mt. (36ft.), but are not as heavy.

***Drop That Walker & Stand Back! ....... as an unidentifed 73 year old American tourist who was a U.S. military veteran used his bare hands to kill an armed assailant in Costa Rica when the masked attacker held a gun to the head of a fellow cruise passenger on Feb. 21. "I thought it was a skit. But then he pointed the gun at my head & grabbed me by the throat and I thought I was going to die," Clova Adams, 54, told The Associated Press by telephone from M/V Carnival Liberty cruise ship. The assault occurred during a port call in Limon, 80 miles E. of San Jose, Costa Rica's capital. The American leaped from a tour van & struggled with the robber, breaking his collarbone & eventually killing him. Police identified the dead man as Warner Segura, 20. Two other knife wielding assailants wisely fled. The U.S. Embassy confirmed the account, but refused to release the name of the American who defended the group, citing his right to privacy. There will be no charges, but likely some autographs. We want to travel with this guy!

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   5. The Cargo Letter Cargo Damage Dispatches                        

          **Back By Popular Demand**

We're sorry, but there were so many sinkings, explosions, pirate attacks, fires, cargo mishaps, battles on the water & other disasters at sea that we do not have room to print even the highlights this month. Many people lost their lives at sea this month!! Don't miss the pirate attack on  M/V Seabourn Spirit

But you can read all this month's disaster news at our special Internet web feature which provides full details of each event -- our Vessel Casualties & Pirate Activity Database.  Bookmark the site and visit every day! Updated twice daily. You will be amazed.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Please view the dramatic new pictures at our special "Gallery of Cargo Loss" website feature. 

See our new feature for Feb. 2007: "Crack'n On The Sidmoouth" -- the ongoing crisis of M/V MSC Napoli - can the 4,427-TEU containership survive? REAL TIME Coverage of this tragic loss.

See our newest photo feature "Singles Only" - Transportation Disasters Told In A Single Photo! Includes our photo coverage of currently stricken M/V Cougar Ace!

NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real.  Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker.  It's dangerous out there.

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OUR "D" Section:  FF in Cyberspace***

  6. The Cargo Letter "Cyber Ports Of Call"   

Here are our suggested world wide web sites of the week for your business, your information and your amusement..............

Cargo & Trade>>>>>>

2007 Official Port of Miami Directory

AIB Trade Finance ....... trade terms, trade forms, bills of exchange, etc.

Alibaba.com ......... world's largest marketplace for global trade & the leading provider of online marketing services for importers & exporters -- with over 4 million registered members worldwide.

"Coping with Uncertainty" ....... a report calling for creation of "fast-track" ocean cargo services that can provide shippers reliable and timely delivery of Asian imports.

Countries of The World ......... when you need a quick hit rather than exhaustive research.

Guide For Importing into the U.S. ........ explains process of importing goods into the U.S., including informed compliance, invoices, duty assessments, classification and value, marking requirements, etc. Free.

INTTRA New Schedule Site

National U.S. - India Chamber Of Commerce

Positions of Ships At Sea & Weather Observations ...... locating your cargo & vessel.

Southern California Logistics Airport [SCLA] .... can this experiment work? More.

TDCTrade.com ........ Hong Kong trade promotion & updated event info.

U.S. Commercial Service Country Commercial Guide to Finland

U.S. Customs Bonds -- Questions & Answers

U.S. Customs Additional Documents Requirements for Textiles & Textile Products

U.S. Customs -- Foreign Assembly of U.S. Components

U.S. Customs Duty Drawback Guide........ explains the process of drawback: a duty or tax that has been lawfully collected is refunded or remitted. Free.

U.S. Customs Valuation Encyclopedia (1980 - 2003)

U.S. National Traffic & Road Closure Information

 

PRODUCTS>>>>>>>>>

ConferencePlus ........... Webcasting provides a compelling tool to get your message out to customers quickly and effectively.

Manta ...... business research & intelligence.

 

EVENTS>>>>>>>>>

Transport Events

Trade Shows, Exhibitions, Conferences & Business Events Worldwide

World Trade Organization Events

EventsEye

2nd Annual Canada-Asia Maritime Conference .......Sept. 10 & 11, 2007, Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2nd Annual Trans-Pacific Air Cargo Conference ......... June 5 & 6, 2006, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

4th Annual Short Sea Shipping Conference ......... April 16-18, 2007, JW Marriott Orlando Grand Lakes

7th Annual JoC Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference .......March 5-6 in Long Beach, Calif.

94th Annual American Short Line & Regional Railroad Assn. (ASLRRA) Convention ........April 22 - 24, 2007, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore, Maryland

Crossroads 2007 -- Supply Chain Innovation Summit ......... 21-22 May, Zaragoza, Spain

India Supply Chain Summit .......... March 1, 2007, New Delhi

Intermodal South America 2007 ........24-26 April 2007, Transamerica Expo Center Sao Paulo, Brazil

Int'l Industrial Control & Automation Technology Exhibition & Conference .......8 to 11 March 2007. Cairo &endash; Egypt

Int'l Logistics & Transportation Conference & Exhibition Israel ....... Feb. 13-14th, 2007, Airport City, Lod

ITEX National Convention & Expo for Document Solutions Providers ....... March 20-23, Las Vegas

LogiCon 2007 ......... March 5-8, JW Marriott Las Vegas, NV

Logistics & Supply Chain Forum ........May 6-9,2007- Cruise Ship M/V Norwegian Dawn, NY. -- 9th year.

Managing Offshore Relationships in China & Beyond ......... March 5 -6, 2007, Los Angeles, CA

NCBFAA 33rd Annual Conference...... April 15 - 19, 2007, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa Chandler, Arizona

 

General Interest>>>>>>>>>

The Astronaut Farmer

BBC Languages ....... practical tools you need to communicate in another language, whether you need just a few phrases to get by, a higher level of fluency.

The Cost of Living Calculator

Europages ........ European b2b business directory

Get Me There UK ....... street mapping, route planners & driving conditions for the UK & Europe.

GotVoice? ........ a free service that lets you receive voice mail messages from your home or cell phones as e-mail attachments! Records your phone messages as MP3 sound files, which you can then listen to when you download your e-mail. Instead of paying for a phone call to check your messages, you can access the Internet in your hotel for free & check your messages. Save the messages forever.

Immigration Counters .....revealing

Modern Drunkard Magazine

The Old Farmer's Almanac ........ get hooked.

Presidential Trivia - Coffee Break

Sceptics Guide To Inconvenient Truth ....... other legitimate voices are always invited here for the health of the discussion, because it is the right thing to do.

Resolve & U.S. Navyy Sink USS Oriskany

San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum

SS Robin ....... the world's oldest complete steamship, a rare example of Victorian engineering.

Sunset Beach Bar .... can we go there now?

T.V. Yard ........ collects over 3,300 TV channels & 1,800 radio Channels - the whole world, for free.

We Hire Aliens

Wi-Fi Hot Spot Locator

Wine & Food Matcher

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OUR "E" Section:  The Forwarder/Broker World***

  7. New Transport Related Legal Cases _______   

Altadis USA Inc. v. Sea Star Line and American Trans-Freight (ATF) Inc.

U.S. Supreme Court

On Feb. 16 the U.S. Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari and said it would review the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal decision in a case in which a container full of cigars being imported from Puerto Rico to Tampa was stolen. In its request for a review, attorneys for Altadis, the shipper of cigars, said the case raises the issue of whether the Carmack Amendment or Carriage of Goods at Sea Act (COGSA) applies to the inland move of a multimodal shipment to a place in the United States from a place in a U.S. territory, even if the inland carrier does not issue a separate bill of lading. The question presented by the case "involves an issue of surpassing significance in the transportation of goods using different modes of transport, which encompasses more than US$1 trillion dollars each year in U.S. trade," the attorneys for Altadis said. A lower court had held that the COGSA governed the dispute, instead of the Carmack Amendment because the bill of lading had incorporated COGSA by contractual agreement. On appeal, Altadis argued a contractual agreement could not displace a governing federal statute such as Carmack, but the 11th Circuit rejected that argument. The petition said the issue has been discussed in appeals courts for two decades and that 'four circuits have fully considered the issue and have concluded that the Carmack Amendment is inapplicable to the inland segment of a multimodal shipment absent a separate bill of lading covering that segment. Two circuits have held precisely the opposite," the petition said. This will be an important decision.

 

Cargo interests on board M/V Cita Vs. Time-charterers of M/V Cita

German Federal Supreme Court

26 Oct. 2006 &endash; I ZR 20/04

Error in Navigation Defense -- court had to consider a case where a vessel had stranded and sunk because the watch-keeping officer had fallen asleep and the watch alarm had been switched off. Upholding the judgment of the appeal court, the BGH found that the exclusion of liability for error in navigation (s.607.2.1 HGB*) included intentional and negligent behaviour of crew members that later on causes the sinking of the vessel without the sinking itself being controlled by human will. Accordingly, the fact that the watch alarm had been switched off and that the watch-keeping officer had fallen asleep constituted an error in navigation relieving the defendant time-charterer from liability. The Decision.

 

In re King

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas

Feb. 21, 2007 - BC No. 05-56485-C

This must read & concise court order explains why some lawyers should have majored in English. The Concise Decision

 

New Hampshire Insurance Co. v. Dagnon

First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals

Feb. 2, 2007, No. 06-1-48

An insurance company is not required to reimburse its insured for damages to a yacht incurred during a winter storm where the yacht owner failed to winterize the yacht as required by the insurance policy. The Decision.

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Written from wire stories, the Associated Press, Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News, Lloyds & other world sources.

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The Cargo Letter Correspondents:

Michael S. McDaniel Esq, Editor (Countryman & McDaniel)

David Schuchman -- Interpool Corp. -- Webmaster of The Cargo Letter Archive

Andrew D. Kehagiaras, Esq. (Countryman & McDaniel)

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